FoFF Alumni Art Exhibit at FinnFest, San Diego, CA, 2011

Alumni of the Finnish Fulbright program gathered in San Diego, CA in August 2011 to participate in FinnFest.

An Open House meeting was held in the home of 2006 Fulbrighter, Michael Parrish and Peggy Strand for alumni.  Besides eating great home-made tacos, alumni heard more about the Friends of Fulbright Finland network and learned of the possibility to make contributions to the Finnish Fulbright program.  It was exciting, but not surprising, to hear from each alum how the Finland experience had provided a crucial element to their lives, both personal and professional.

Numerous alumni assisted at FinnFest by “manning” the Fulbright Center information booth at the Tori marketplace. FinnFest participants learned first-hand from experienced Fulbrighters about the available grant programs and the opportunity to come to Finland  to pursue studies and research.

An art exhibit sponsored by the Friends of Fulbright Finland displayed the works of four alumni artists, Cherie Sampson, Sabra Booth, Karen Kunc, and Jacquelyn Gleisner. Over 165 people visited the exhibit, and at the opening the Consul General from the LA Finnish Consulate, Kirsti Westphalen, welcomed the audience and remarked about the strong value alumni bring to the promotion of Finland and of the Fulbright program.

Both Julene Johnson and Mary Koske played in the FinnFest kantele orchestra, and Julene, Margaret Schueman, and Peter MacKeith also gave invited lectures for the FinnFest audience. 

Engaging Fulbrighters who have been to Finland and who are keen to continue connections, to share the Finnish experience, and to offer support to the Fulbright program in Finland is a central goal of the Friends of Fulbright Finland network.